Missouri’s overall drought picture remains dry, although there is some slight improvement in portions of the Show-Me State.
The latest map shows the drought still covering the entire state, and most of it in the severe category – although three pockets of land where drought conditions are only moderate have grown slightly larger over the past two weeks. Those pockets are located in northeast, east-central and southwest Missouri. Mark Svoboda is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“The longer-range forecast (is) still showing, particularly at least for the next month or so, greater likelihood of being above normal temperature-wise," Svoboda said. "Precipitation is a little bit more (of a) mixed bag, maybe (a) more equal chance.”
A weak El Nino in the Pacific could result in a colder and wetter winter in the southern U.S., and in turn provide some relief here.
“Sort of the mid-section of the Midwest -- Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois -- you’re sort of in that transition where you could go either way," Svoboda said. "It just depends on where the winter system sets up and what kind of storm track develops over the next, say, 60 to 90 days.”
Svoboda says it’s critical for whatever rain or snow Missouri gets in the coming months to get into the soil before next spring’s growing season begins.